AWE Taps Kan Tan IV to Drill More Exploration Plays in Taranaki Basin

New Zealand Crown Minerals

Sydney-based explorer Australian Worldwide Exploration (AWE) is looking at drilling three or possibly four types of exploration plays during its summer exploration in the Taranaki Basin.

In a website presentation originally given to the Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia, AWE says its first well, Hoki-1, will be a Cretaceous North Cape Formation play in PEP 38401 about 100 km due west of New Plymouth.

The Hoki-1 structure is 70 sq km in size with 100 m relief giving a large potential. The structure lies geologically under the edge of the Western Platform. Water depth over the structure drops from 150 m deep to about 900 m.

PEP 38401 is operated by AWE, which holds a 50% interest. The other Hoki partners are OMV (31.25%) and Todd Energy (18.75%).

Two wells were also planned as extensions to the Tui oil field pool in the Kapuni Group 'F10' sands.

AWE says in the presentation that two Tui extension wells are planned, Tui north east (NE), and Tui south west (SW). The Tui NE target is estimated to contain approximately 10 million barrels recoverable and Tui SW approximately 5 mmbbl recoverable.

AWE's corporate development manager Garry Marsden said from Sydney that the Tui partners had not firmly decided on which Tui targets would be drilled.

AWE also outlined two other possible targets adjoining the Tui pool -- Tui south east (estimated reserves of 10 mmbbl) and Kahu channel play (estimated 30 mmbbl reserves).

A fourth well proposed Tuatara-1, off the South Island's D'Urville Island, is a Moki sands play similar to OMV's Maari oil field. The top Moki sands at Tuatara contain a 10 sq km structure containing 90 m of relief. AWE is 100% owner of the permit (PEP 38524).

Marsden said a fourth play type being considered for this drill round is the Bahamas Pleistocene biogenic gas play more than 100 km west of Taranaki largely in PEP 38483.

AWE had been working on this gas play for quite some time, Marsden said. While the gas play had the disadvantage of being a long way from shore, it appeared to have a large upside.

He said the semisubmersible rig Kan Tan-IV is currently scheduled to arrive in New Zealand in November.